To: Francis Gibson, Lowry Snow, Patrice Arent, Richard Cunningham, Steve Eliason, Greg Hughes, Brad Last, David Lifferth, Daniel McCay, Carol Moss, Jim Nielson, Val Peterson, Marie Poulson, Dean Sanpei, Keven John Stratton, Kraig Powell,
Subject: HB116 hearing Friday Feb 21
Date: Thu Feb 20 22:37:06 MST 2014
Hello Members of the House Education Committee-
Tomorrow morning you are hearing HB116 again-School Construction Modifications. There was some discussion on this bill on Wednesday Feb 18th, and I want to assure you that Jordan School District is not the only district concerned about questionable decisions on school construction being made by school boards, superintendents and business administrators. We believe there should be state construction standards set for local school districts, not just mere guidelines.
Please take a moment to understand why taxpayers are concerned about the school district which Rep. Kraig Powell represents.
-Our new Wasatch High School was built in 2009- was a $59.5 million bond but ended up being an $80+ million construction. Only 4 years later, they need to add on 4 classrooms and expand the cafeteria.
The USOE facilities report still shows the total construction as $46.2 million, which is what WSD originally told the public. It’s never been updated. http://schools.utah.gov/finance/Facilities/Building-Records/Annual-School-Plant-Capital-Outlay-Report-FY11.aspx
***See 2008school constructionLegislative audit -WHS is featured on pages 24-32. Nothing was corrected after this audit.
-Between 2000-2002 The North School renovation was a $4.6 million renovation of a historic building, and $1.8 million “disappeared” because checks were written by the school board without proper invoice backup. AG’s office got a complaint- never investigated. The business administrator who was hired to safeguard the district funds still has his job today.
-Now, the WSD is voting tonight to demolish an old high school building to redevelop the vacant property. This is my GRAMA request.(which was denied) to get verification of numbers that were quoted during their PUBLIC presentation:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5672VFxXqYc
The taxpayers are concerned about the lack of transparency and openness, as well as this premature decision to demolish when they have not done any inspections of the building since 2000 nor any bids for demolition. Also, we can’t find a WSD public agenda in the last year where a vote by the board was taken on hiring, and paying, the engineer to design a development plat for the vacant lot. This demolition was not on the public’s radar screen until the January 29th public hearing, but the school board approached the Heber City planning dept. in November 2013 with their designed redevelopment plat.
Thank you for your time,
Tracy Taylor, Chair
Wasatch Taxpayers Association
"The Fiscal Hawks of Wasatch County"
2 S. Main Street, Suite F1
Heber, UT. 84032